"E-books must fail" says OUP's Schnittman

<p>E-books will never become &quot;a dominant version of content sold by publishers&quot; unless a &quot;very different&quot; sales model evolves, according to OUP&#39;s head of global business development Evan Schnittman.</p><p>Writing in the inaugural post on his blog BlackPlasticGlasses, Schnittman highlighted the different invoice structures between print books and e-books - namely that e-books are bought on a consignment basis. &quot;This means that ebooks don&rsquo;t have a huge returns problem, but it also means they cannot generate short-term cash flow like print books do,&quot; he said. </p><p>&quot;Clearly ebooks aren&rsquo;t free - they are perhaps as expensive or in some cases more expensive than print - yet they do not create large, short term cash flow to cover their costs. Ebooks, if successful, will sink the trade publishing industry.&quot;</p><p>He argued that &quot;extremely low, discounted prices&quot; on a consignment basis &quot;cannot&quot; cover the advances that an &quot;entire industry has come to require&quot;. As a result, he claimed e-books would always be &quot;priced to sell, but sold as an afterthought&quot;.</p>